PAYSON — Don’t try to tell these Panthers that they are too young to win a championship.
Sophomore Dakota Donovan and junior Harrison Goebel each pitched complete games as Pine View swept through the Payson pod and earned a berth in Thursday’s winner’s bracket state quarterfinal.
That positive attitude showed in the 11-1 opening win against the home team and Region 12 champion Payson Lions. Pine View pounced with two runs in the first inning behind Donovan’s two-run single. Payson’s Conor Mitchell got one of those runs back in the bottom of the first with a home run off of Donovan, but the solo shot would turn out to be the lone offensive highlight for the Lions, who would not get another runner past second base the rest of the game.
“It was a frisbee,” Donovan said. “But you have to have a short memory as a pitcher. I served one up, but pretty much forgot about it after that. Plus I knew our offense would get it going off of their pitchers.”
And get it going, the Pine View offense did, with Micah Morgan knocking home a run in the second and Logan LaFemina and Hunter Hansen plating three more in the fourth. Ahead 6-1, Pine View struck for another in the sixth off of Hansen’s bat and then the icing on the cake came in the seventh, when the Panthers put the game away with four more runs. Morgan added two more RBIs and Hansen produced his fourth hit of the game in the frame.
After the win, Pine View and its fans had to move to Spanish Fork for the second-round game against Stansbury, which had beaten Uintah 4-1.
Though PV’s offense wasn’t as potent in the game, Goebel proved nearly unhittable most of the contest in the Panthers 5-2 victory. In fact, the junior right-hander had a no-hitter through five and two-thirds innings before an infield single broke up the no-no.
The Stallions then broke up the shutout in the seventh with a couple of hits and a Pine View error. But the Panthers led 5-0 at the time and were never seriously challenged.
The game was scoreless until the third, when LaFemina scored on a bases loaded wild pitch. Pine View made it 2-0 in the fourth when Ty Johnston stole third and rushed home after the wild throw at third flew into left field.
The game stayed tight until the sixth, when PV got a cushion with a three-run rally. Justice Santiago led off with a double. After two strikeouts, Johnston walked and Morgan reached on an error to load the bases. A balk sent Santiago home, making it 3-0. LaFemina then singled to right to plate two more runs and give PV a 5-0 edge, more than enough for Goebel.
“He’s really pitched well the last three or four weeks,” said Pine View coach Mike Gargano. “Our pitching today was superb. Dakota’s done it all year and Harry’s started to really dominate, too.”
The Panthers, 14-9, have won four straight and 6 of 7 heading into Thursday’s quarterfinal meeting with rival Desert Hills at Utah Valley University. The two teams split a pair of games a couple of weeks ago.
Postgame and highlights: Pine View 5, Stansbury 2
Videos produced by Dallas Griffin
Highlights: Pine View 11, Payson 1
Cedar 13, Juab 1
Juan Diego 3, Cedar 2
The Redmen mercy-ruled the Wasps in the first round with Brecken Lewis getting the win on the mound. But No. 1-seeded Juan Diego rallied from a 2-0 deficit to force extra innings and Chandler Lamberton singled home the game-winner in the bottom of the ninth.
Lamberton also pitched four scoreless innings in relief and got the win on the mound as the Soaring Eagle will play in the winner’s bracket Thursday at 1:30 p.m. against Grantsville at Utah Valley University.
Cedar, 19-6, will have to try and survive through the one-loss bracket starting with a Thursday meeting with Richfield at Spanish Fork’s Swenson Park. The Redmen will have to win seven games in three days next week to become state champions.
Carbon 2, Canyon View 0
Canyon View 3, Morgan 0
The Falcons were surprised by the Dinos, who shut them out in the first round. But CV turned things around in the second game and eliminated the Trojans.
C-View battles Stansbury at 1:30 p.m. Thursday at Swenson Park in another elimination game.
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